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Open Access Research article

A step forward for understanding the morbidity burden in Guinea: a national descriptive study

Keita Mamady and Guoqing Hu*

Author Affiliations

Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Central South University, 110 Xiangya Road, 410078 Changsha, China

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BMC Public Health 2011, 11:436  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-436

Published: 6 June 2011



Little evidence on the burden of disease has been reported about Guinea. This study was conducted to demonstrate the morbidity burden in Guinea and provide basic evidence for setting health priorities.


A retrospective descriptive study was designed to present the morbidity burden of Guinea. Morbidity data were extracted from the National Health Statistics Report of Guinea of 2008. The data are collected based on a pyramid of facilities which includes two national hospitals (teaching hospitals), seven regional hospitals, 26 prefectural hospitals, 8 communal medical centers, 390 health centers, and 628 health posts. Morbidity rates were calculated to measure the burden of non-fatal diseases. The contributions of the 10 leading diseases were presented by sex and age group.


In 2008, a total of 3,936,599 cases occurred. The morbidity rate for males was higher than for females, 461 versus 332 per 1,000 population. Malaria, respiratory infections, diarrheal diseases, helminthiases, and malnutrition ranked in the first 5 places and accounted for 74% of the total burden, respectively having a rate of 148, 64, 33, 32, and 14 per 1,000 population. The elderly aged 65+ had the highest morbidity rate (611 per 1,000 population) followed by working-age population (458 per 1,000 population) and children (396 per 1,000 population) while the working-age population aged 25-64 contributed the largest part (39%) to total cases. The sex- and age-specific spectrum of morbidity burden showed a similar profile except for small variations.


Guinea has its unique morbidity burden. The ten leading causes of morbidity burden, especially for malaria, respiratory infections, diarrheal diseases, helminthiases, and malnutrition, need to be prioritized in Guinea.